It looks like Penang Chief Minister will be rolling in 2014 in style, as his new ride with the customary PG1 number plate is a long wheelbase W221 Mercedes-Benz S300L in Palladium Silver with a grey interior. Photos of the freshly registered car uploaded by dealership personnel appeared on Facebook earlier today.
According to sources, only one unit was procured from Lowe Motors, a Mercedes-Benz Malaysia dealership in Georgetown, Penang. Being a government purchase, no tax was paid on it. The car comes with a four year unlimited mileage warranty and is locally assembled in Pekan, Pahang.
Given that the new W222 S-Class has already been released, this previous generation car must have been procured at quite a bit of savings. A quick check for brand new S-Class on oto.my Malaysian car classifieds reveals a brand new year 2012 unregistered car advertised by an official Mercedes-Benz Malaysia dealer for RM560k (with tax), which is a reduction of RM100k from the car’s new price.
UPDATE: The Penang government has revealed that the car was purchased for RM298,263.75, which includes the exemption of duties as well as a RM100k discount, which is consistent with the pricing we saw on oto.my. This means the tax for the S-Class came up to about RM260k.
The PG1 number plate used to be on an 18 year old W140 Mercedes-Benz S-Class. It was moved for a brief period to a black Toyota Camry that was part of the new fleet of Toyota Camry 2.5V purchased as the state’s official car at a cost of RM113,500 per car – tax free as well. The Toyota Camry has been reassigned to deputy Penang state speaker Maktar Shapee, who was using a Proton Perdana.
According to the Penang state government, the decision to replace the old fleet was due to the high costs in maintaining them – all the cars are more than 15 years old. “The cost of maintaining all 21 official state cars was RM370,400 in 2011, RM383,000 last year and for this year, up until now, RM301,238,” said state exco member Chow Kon Yeow.
The federal government will also be getting new cars – the new Proton Perdana based on the last generation Honda Accord was unveiled earlier this month, including a special stretched version for the Prime Minister.